From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Joe Hill comes an unnerving novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes.
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I’ve had many customers at the store tell me that I should a book by Joe Hill and I have been meaning to for years. It took me getting an advanced copy of his newest release (this book came out last Tuesday), but it is always fun to discover a new author that I find out I enjoy. Joe Hill is actually the son of Stephen King. I respect his decision to change his name before trying to get his first publishing deal, rather than just getting his book out because of his famous father. I found his writing style to be somewhat similar to his father but also unique at the same time.
The Fireman is about a terrifying new plague that is spreading across the country called Dragonscale. When I read the synopsis I was worried it would be exactly like all of the other apocalyptic stories that authors have been pumping out over the past few years but Hill does a great job setting this story apart from the crowd. Dragonscale is a highly contagious spore that tattoos itself in the host’s skin and grows until the host eventually combusts into flames. Nobody knows when or how it began but it is causing mass hysteria and leading to the unhinging of the world, burning it down to ashes. Our protagonist, Harper, is the type to put others before herself. She works as a nurse, trying to help the infected until she becomes infected herself. This is where the story takes off, her terrible husband loses his mind when she becomes infected and believes she infected him as well. Trying to escape him, Harper runs into an improbable group of heroes who are trying to save the world. This group of people is led by a very powerful man, a man known as The Fireman.